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Ramsis Kilani on how Palestine activists in Germany are resisting repression

Ramsis Kilani is a revolutionary socialist in Germany and was part of the organising groups for last week’s banned Palästina Kongress in Berlin. He spoke to Socialist Worker about the challenges facing the movement in Germany following the police raid and arrests
Issue 2901
Ramsis Kilani illustrating an article on the Palestine congress

Ramsis Kilani is a revolutionary socialist in Germany

“Palestine activists here are divided in their response to the state’s shutdown of the congress. Some see it as a victory because of the amount of international publicity it generated. Some think we should attempt to re-run the event.

But the feeling on the ground after this new level of state repression is generally one of defeat and frustration. So, there is a sense of disorientation in the movement.

Some other activists draw on that feeling. They think the state crackdown on the congress shows we should now stick to organising street demonstrations. Cops have found them harder to break up since the demo bans have been defeated.

There is also a minority of activists, of which I am part, that sees an opportunity in the growing number of groups here—including some sizeable human rights organisations—that want to protest against German arms sales to Israel.

I think moving in this direction would give us a chance to work with wider forces and generate mass activity. It would help the Palestine movement to break out of its comparative isolation.

So, there is room for a strategic debate about the future, especially among activists.

After the police broke up the physical conference, it was made available online. Some of us organised a mass screening that around 100 people came to the one in Berlin. Comrades organised similar events in Hamburg, Cologne and Leipzig.

Here we had a chance to talk through some of the ideas.

One thing is clear though. The state sees the smashing of the congress as a turning point and now wants to go on the offensive. After attacking the congress, it sent the police to break up the Palestine camp outside the Bundestag parliament building. 

The task now is to build a movement capable of standing up to that pressure.”

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